August 18, 2013
In Defense of Victor Adamson aka Denver Dixon
A lot has been written about Adamson/Dixon as one of the worst film-makers ever in Hollywood. While there is a lot of evidence to back this up I'm not sure. He must have had a lot of friends as he work steadily from the early silents right through into the 1970's as an actor, bit player, extra and behind the camera as well. He pops up in a lot of places just as a face in the crowd, if nothing else.
"The Rawhide Terror" is not the worst film I ever saw, and not the worst western to be sure. It moves along rather quickly. Rumored to have been shot to be a serial, since it plays like a serial with cliff-hangers and non-stop action, it has it's good points and it's bad, to be sure.
People come and people go. Art Mix starts out to be the "hero" only to disappear mid-film. The totally nuts "Rawhide Terror" has an alter ego only glimpsed at with no explanation as Jim.
Edmund Cobb, William Desmond, and child actor Tommy Bupp had all worked at Mascot in serials and knew the ropes. All three are quite good. Frances Morris as Betty comes off very well too. She would go on to have a long career in small roles for years. Since this was cobbled together from bits and pieces of an incomplete serial. The film editor and the writer/producer Adamson have to take credit for putting it together as coherent as it is. I liked it, faults, bad acting and all. I can see how a 10 year old who paid his dime on a Saturday would have gotten his money's worth. Buffs Only. Good picture and sound is a plus too.